Outdoor, in-ground, 120v???

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Old 12-01-06, 11:23 AM
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Exclamation Outdoor, in-ground, 120v???

Hi,
***I've been reading & searching this site & the Internet for about 3 hours now. I'm currently having major landscaping done. This involves trenching for in-ground sprinklers. At the same time (not same yard location) I want to trench for outdoor electrical outlets/fixtures to be installed (later). While the yard is a mess, I want to run the cable (wire) and conduit. It's going to be about 18 inches deep, so it's better done now, than later when my lawn is in.

***Last year I consulted an Electrician I used, about where he will connect into the house. At the time he instructed me to get someone else to do the trenching, conduit & wire stuff. (He sub-contracts it out, so it's cheaper for me to rent a trencher & DIY.) I'd hoped to have this work done this summer. However, a new roof came first. When I'm ready, my Electrician will connect all the fixtures & outlets.

***I want an installation that will be as problem free as possible. However, I've often found that local code requires minimum installations, not the BEST INSTALLATIONS. Thus, I have a question about product and quality. Sense I can't afford to have this work done until summer; I don't want to call and my Electrician what's best to use. (I'm a bit embarrassed. He did my earlier work this time last year. He may not even recall who I am.)

***I'm running 110/120v wire, thru conduit to 3 locations. The longest continuous run (distance) being 50 yards. This is an in-ground (considered wet) location. My electrician is adding dedicated breakers into the box for this.

My questions are:
1. What is the VERY BEST wire (cable) to install?
2. What size wire? (i.e.: 12/2, 10/2, 8/2?)
3. What size conduit? (Should I use a larger pipe, in case I later need to add more wire?)
4. Should this be deeper than 18 inches? (I'm in Charlotte, NC. Because our weather is usually mild, the sprinklers are only going to be 8 inches under ground.)
5. Should I ask my Electrician to use any particular other brands? Products? (So I have good quality products?)

***I appreciate any helpful advice someone can share. (I can ask my local home improvement store, but they will only advise code minimums.)

Thanks, Anna



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***Moderator's note: Duplicate thread created in Lighting and Light Fixtures adn Ceiling Fans Forum has been deleted***
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 12-01-06 at 12:47 PM. Reason: See note in post
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Old 12-01-06, 11:38 AM
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If you are running wires inside conduit, use 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch conduit schedule 40 PVC and THWN wire. Use 12 gage wire, one black, one white and one green.
 
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Old 12-01-06, 12:25 PM
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> outdoor electrical outlets/fixtures to be installed (later).

You'll have to be a little more specific. I assume you want at least some outdoor receptacles; what about lights? Will the lights be always-on, photocell controlled (on when it's dark), or controlled from a switch in the house?

If you install 1/2 PVC conduit buried 18" down, then you can always pull in more wires later if you need more options. If you install 12/2 or 12/3 UF cable burried directly in the ground, the project will be easier and cheaper, but you'll have to know what your needs are first.
 
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Old 12-01-06, 02:11 PM
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Question My installation is...

Ben, Thank you! This is great. I know what I need to power.

For my font yard installation:
***My installation comes out of the house where my electrician installs a photocell. The line goes thru the flower bed about 9 feet, where it turns 90 degrees, so it runs across the front of the house. (It doesn't have to be 90 degrees) It goes 3 feet, where a small hard-wired flood light fixture is installed. The wire continues 40 straight feet where it splits. The wire runs off at a right angle, 25 feet to a tree where a small hard-wired spotlight is to be installed. The other piece of wire continues straight another 32 feet and will power a lamppost light and out door outlet. (At the base of the post.

My backyard instillation is:
***The wire comes out of my house (the breaker box), along the wall in conduit. At the side of the house, the conduit bends down to the ground level. In-ground the wire needs to run 110 feet to my shed. There go inside to power lights and outlets.

It sure would be nice to NOT HAVE TO USE conduit. I cant afford to have this landscaping done & then mess it up later. What do you advise?
Thanks, Anna
 
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Old 12-01-06, 02:54 PM
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> front yard line

This should be 12/3g UF cable. The cable has in it a black, red, white, and bare wire. Black is always hot for the receptacle, red is the switched hot for lights controlled by the photocell, white is the neutral (return), and bare is the ground.

Photocell to Flood with 12/3 UF.
Flood to Tree 12/2 UF.
Flood to Post 12/3 UF.

> where it splits

The wiring cannot split underground; it can only split at a fixture. You'll have to run the 12/3 UF into the light fixture, then run 12/3 UF out of the fixture to the post with receptacle and 12/2 UF to the remaining light fixture.

> 25 feet to a tree

Do you want the light mounted to the trunk of the tree or as an accent light shining up into the tree? I am pretty sure code prohibts mounting hard-wired lighting to trees. *See post below.

> [back yard] In-ground the wire needs to run 110 feet to my shed.

This run can be 12/2g UF cable, because you have no need for the photocell-controlled red wire to the shed that is required in the front yard.

> be nice to NOT HAVE TO USE conduit.

Conduit is not required for the horizontal, underground sections of cable. Conduit is required for protection of the cable on the vertical portions from the bottom of the trench (18" down) up to the buildings or fixtures. Use 3/4" grey PVC schedule 40 PVC conduit and sweep fittings.
 

Last edited by ibpooks; 12-01-06 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 12-01-06, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
I am pretty sure code prohibts mounting hard-wired lighting to trees.

Use 3/4" grey PVC schedule 40 PVC conduit and sweep fittings.
1. 1999 NEC Sec. 225-26 addresses this. Ray Mullin (1999) says that NEC "does not permit spans of conductors to be run between live or dead trees, but it does not prohibit installing decorative lighting" mounted on a tree. He continues saying that the 1999 NEC Sec. 410-16(h) "permits outdoor lighting fixtures and associated equipment to be supported by trees. Recognized wiring methods to carry the conductors up the tree must be used." I don't have the 2002 or 2005 codes so I don't know if this has changed but I can tell you that plenty of local park holiday displays take full advantage.

2. It will be tough to get 12/3 (flat) UF in a 3/4" PVC Sch. 40, won't it? I used Sch. 80 with THWN for my underground distribution but I had the electrician run some 12/3 UF as the feed, that he stripped back before putting it up the conduit. (I realize the topic of stripping cable to put in conduit has been beat around here quite a bit.)
 
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Old 12-01-06, 03:42 PM
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I was wrong regarding trees. Permanent outdoor light fixtures may be mounted in trees so long as the wiring has adequate protection to a height of 8'.
 
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Old 12-01-06, 04:51 PM
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Before anyone can give you a valid answer on the wire size or conduit size you would need to determine what they will be used for. The size of the load determines the wire size. The wire size determines the conduit size.
 
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Old 12-01-06, 05:51 PM
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Question Ben, ArgMeMatey, and pcboss

Hi, Thanks to everyone for the replies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ben***The span of 25 feet to the tree actually takes meto within 5 feet of he tree. Yes, so a spot can wash up into the tree.

***Having read the input from ArgMeMatey, I wonder if I sould use a larger size conduit for the vertical runs? He suggested Sch. 80. What do you think?

pcboss***Check out the 3rd. poste in this thread. Is that enough info?

I really appreciate this help! Thanks again, Anna
 
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Old 12-03-06, 12:19 PM
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12/3 UF is round, at least where I am from, and would run in a 3/4 conduit.

I'd run a 10/3 UF to the shed, at least. At minimum a 12/3.
 
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